English Teachers Perception And Practices Education Essay

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Introduction

General Background:

Forty percent of school going age children has never been to school, seventy percent of the school children drop-out before completing the primary school cycle (I-V) in Nepal (Koirala, 1996, p 1). Similarly, fifty percent of class ten passes the School Leaving Certificate (SLC). Only thirty three percent students enroll in the higher studies. Among them, sixty percent cannot go on to higher education Ministry of Education, 2010/2011. To minimize the dropout rate and give right education for every child, Nepal government has spent its seventeen percent of total budget in the education. Even though the result is not improving order due to various factors such as teacher, classroom management, text book, curriculum, policy, discrimination, barriers and so on.

Nepal government has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), and is a signatory of Education for All and the Salamanca Declaration (1994). SAARC declared 1993-2002 as the SAARC Decade for the Disabled. Similarly, the Ministry of Education, Nepal, has made a 'core document', called 'School Sector Reform Plan' (SSRP). In this document, a long-term plan from 2009- 2015 has been formulated, including strategies, interventions and policy directions are described to improve efficiency and quality for all students (Ministry of Education, 2009). The SSRP can be regarded as an extension on the ongoing projects, e.g. EFA and Teacher Education Project. Plans are focused on all education levels: from early childhood education, basic and secondary education to literacy among youths and adults (Ministry of Education, 2010). Thus, Nepal government has introduced the inclusive education in order to improve school systems and its results.

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Department of Education (DOE) has defined inclusive education as the development process of an education system that provides right to all children to have useful education in non-discriminatory environment of their own community by upholding multicultural differences of the country (DOE, 2003). Moreover, if we give the appropriate environment, all children can learn.

DOE has indicated the following children as the target groups of Inclusive education:

Girls/women

Janajati (ethnic and linguistic group)

Children with disability

Street children

Child labourers

Children affected conflict

Children trafficked for sexual and other purposes

Children without parents

Sick children (HIV, AIDS, Leprosy)

Children in poverty

Kamaiya and bonded labour children

Children studying in Madarsa, Gumba

Children from language minorities group

Inclusive education is the emerging need in our country and would be a great example in a multilingual and multicultural state, (Sheela, 2009 p 129).

Rationale

I am encouraged to undertake this study with five reasons.

First one was the fact that I could not find the existing studies which addressed the managing inclusive education in the primary level.

Secondly, the analysis of theories which sought to explain the influence of inclusive education and related research findings developed my country to understand that phenomena in a community in the country.

Thirdly, the theoretical and empirical findings of the critical theorists and researchers, especially about the effects of inclusive education on rural, ethnic, Janjati, disadvantaged, poor people, Dalit etc made me to know about the experience of the disable students in my country, because their findings did not all with my experience and causal observations.

Fourth, personal experience: I was born in a Terai, poor village of Mid Western Region, Nepal and graduated from public (government) school. I have done a Bachelor in Education (B.Ed) from Kathmandu Shiksha Campus, Kathmandu, Tribhuvan University. After that I went to my village to teach there. I taught there as an English teacher for one year. After that, I again came to Kathmandu to earn my Masters Degree. I Joined in the Central Department of English Education in 2003. I passed(have passed) my M.Ed. in English and joined the community Campus as an English Lecturer. Suddenly, I met my school friend, Dil, who could not complete his primary school because his parents were unable to pay his fee, in the Buspark, Kathmandu.

Fifth, I, Bhod K. Khanal, Ramchandra Podel and Prakash sharma went Sindupalchok to give training for teacher in Jan. 2012 for ten days which was organized by District Education Office and Goreto Nepal. I saw there some children who were handicapped by birth. I stopped and asked, "Why are you not going school?" They replied me that there was not good physical facility for them. I was shocked. I talked about it with my friends. Now, I am thinking about such type of school which gives education to all children within the same classroom no (without) discrimination in terms of caste, colour, status, physical status, gender etc.

Classification of concept

Inclusion

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"… a process in which schools, communities, local authorities and government strive to reduce barriers to participate and learning for all citizens …" (Farrell and Ainscow, 2003: 3, cited in Mypa, 2007)

"… inclusion is a principle that refers to the right o all learners to feel welcome in a supportive educational context… (Hall, 2002, p.32, cited in Mypa, 2007)

"Inclusion is concerned with all children and young people in schools; it is focused on presence, participation and achievement; inclusion and exclusion are linked together such that inclusion involves the active combating of exclusion; and inclusion is seen as a never-ending process. Thus an inclusive school is one that is on the move, rather than one that has reached a perfect state (Ainscow et al, 2006, P.25)

Inclusive Education

Department of Education (DOE) Nepal has defined inclusive education as the development process of an education system that provides right to all children to have useful education in non-discriminatory environment of their own community by upholding multicultural differences of the country. Moreover, if we give the appropriate environment, all children can learn.

"Inclusive education is sometimes seen as a political strategy based on human rights and democratic principles, which confront all forms of discrimination, as part of a concern to develop an inclusive society and to ensure that some students receive additional resources and are not ignored or neglected." (Puri and Abraham, 2004)

"… is concerned with removing all barriers to learning, and with the participation of all learners vulnerable to exclusion and marginalization. It is a strategic approach designed to facilitate learning success for all children. It addresses the common goals of decreasing and overcoming all exclusion from the human right to education, at least at the elementary level, and enhancing access, participation and learning success in quality basic education for all." Education for All 2000 Bulletin, UNESCO, No. 1998

"Inclusive education means that schools should accommodate all children regardless of their physical, intellectual, social, emotional, linguistic or other conditions. This should include disabled and gifted children, street and working children, children from remote or nomadic populations, children from linguistic, ethnic or cultural minorities and children from other disadvantages or marginalized areas or groups." The Salamancea Statement and Framework for Action on special Needs Education, Para.3

A succinct definition of inclusive education is provided by Lipsky & Gartner (1996, 1999, cited in David Mitchell, 2010,P.121), who described it as students with disabilities having full membership in age appropriate classes in their neighbourhood schools, with appropriate supplementary aids and support services.

Inclusive education means that all students in a school, regardless of their strengths or weaknesses in any area, become part of the school community. They are included in the feeling of belonging among other students, teachers, and support staff (www.uniedu/coe-inclusion, 2008/1/3).

Teacher

Any person who teaches and provides other persons professional educational services at school or training center is called a teacher. In other words, a person whose job involves educating others at any levels such as elementary, primary, secondary, university level.

Learner/Student

A learner means any student at any school, educational training institution or learning center.

Perception: The way a person thinks about anything or his/her impression about it.

Practice: People do regularly i.e. teacher uses his/her teaching strategies while teaching students

Barriers to Learning: A barrier to learning is something that prevents the learner from benefiting from education (Visser, 2009:9, cited in Mpya,2007). It can be a barrier within the learner, within the school or policy or education system or barrier in social, economic and political context.

Objective of the study

The main aim of this research is:

- to explore, identify and analyze the teachers' perception of different inclusive education strategies and their practices in primary level (1-5) classroom

- to find out barriers in managing inclusive education in classroom

- what kind of teaching techniques appear to facilitate inclusion and what practices and policies exist within the school and outside the school to support and promote inclusive education

Problem of the study:

The problem statement for this study is:

What is inclusive education?

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What are the inclusive education techniques in terms of perception and practices of teachers in teaching primary level?

What barriers do teachers encounter in managing inclusive education in their classroom?

Purpose of the study:

The first, the purpose of the study is to explore, identify and analyze the teachers' perception of different inclusive education techniques and their practices in primary level classroom.

The second purpose of the study is to find out barriers in managing inclusive education in classroom.

Research questions:

I began thinking about my research questions in 2006 since my appointment to Gramin Adarsha Multiple Campus, Balaju, Nepaltar, Kathamndu. My teaching background, my early experience, and my own education helped me to rethink these questions that I had in my mind since my graduation, and helped me to realize that a focus on schooling among peoples who tended to do little schooling not get admission due to physical condition, caste, colour, and so on and to leave schooling at an early stage might be a strategic way to answer my questions.

The study of the research will have the following questions.

How do primary level teachers understand inclusive education?

How do teachers manage inclusive education in the classroom?

How do primary level teachers use inclusive techniques in classroom teaching and learning?

What barriers do teachers encounter in managing inclusive education in their classroom?

What is the gap between teachers' perception and classroom practices of inclusive education?

Significance of the study:

This study will be useful for people involved in teaching and learning at primary level in Nepal and particularly to the teachers, students and the persons interested in carrying out research in the field of inclusive education.

The ideas on inclusive education generated in this research will help me to understand how a better inclusive education can be created in primary level classroom.

Limitations and Delimitations of the study:

As this will be the first research being carried out, on this topic in the particular field, Nepal ; it will have the following limitations and delimitations:

The study was delimited to only three schools in Kavre district, namely, Binayak Bal LSS, Badalgaun, Lankhanamai P S, Dhulikhel and Purna Sanjibani SS, Dhulikhel.

The study focused on the primary level teachers.

The study subjects were only 12 teachers (8 males and 4 females).

The result of the study is dependent on perception and practices of 12 teachers and the result cannot be generalized.

Research Site:

Regarding the ideal study site, Marshall and Rossman (1989;as cited in Koirala 1996, p. 32) argue that it is where entry is possible, where there is a high probability of a rich mix of many of the processes, peoples, programmes, interactions or structures of interest, and where the researcher can define an appropriate role and be assured of good sampling.

The present study will be conducted at Binayak Bal SS, Lankhanamai PS and Purna Sanjibani SS in Kavre district, which is situated at central development region of Nepal. Prior to the selection of research site, I consult Campus chiefs (Principles of colleges) and some professors of Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel, Dipendra Police Higher Secondary School and Chaityae Campus, Dhulikhel, District Education Officer, high school supervisors and the area Coordinator of Save the children , Plan Nepal and District Coordinator of ActionAid in Kavre. They suggested me thirty schools. I wrote the name of each school suggested on a small piece of paper, rolled it , put it in a box, spun it, and finally picked three out of them. The pieces of paper which I picked up randomly named, Binayak Bal LSS Badalgaun, Lankhanamai PS , Dhulikhel and Purna Sanjibani SS Dhulikhel for my research site.

Review of the Literature

In this chapter, I have reviewed some theories of inclusive education. I have also reviewed the researcher's opinion pertaining to inclusive education and I have also reviewed articles, empirical research and journals which were related with inclusive education.

Armstrong, Felicity; Armstrong, Derrick; Barton, Len published the book entitled "Inclusive Education: Policy, Context and Comparative Perspectives", which is based on materials arising out of collaborative work which addresses the question of 'inclusive' education in the context of policy and practice in a number of different countries including Australia, England, France, Greece, Ireland, Scotland, Sweden and the USA. Inclusive education embraces human rights, equal opportunities and social justice. The authors of these papers examine how various societies construct and respond to personal and cultural differences. These emerging issues will help to broaden discussions on the policy and practice of equity and social justice.

Ainscow (2004) published an article entitled "Developing inclusive education systems: what are the levels for change?" in the journal of Education Change. This paper argues that inclusion is the major challenge facing educational systems around the world. Reflecting on evidence from a programme of research carried out over the last ten years, it provides a framework for determining levers that can help to ease systems in a more inclusive direction. The focus is on factors within schools that influence the development of thinking and practice, as well as wider contextual factors that may constrain such developments. It is argued that many of the barriers experienced by learners arise from existing ways of thinking. Consequently, strategies for developing inclusive practices have to involve interruptions to thinking, in order to encourage an exploration of overlooked possibilities for moving practice forward.

CERID conducted The Study on Situation Analysis of Special Needs Education for the Expansion of Inclusive Education (2004) which focused on the disabled children with the disadvantaged children in its surrounding. The objectives of the study are as follow:

To find out the implementation procedure of Special Education and Inclusive Education programmes

To look into the utilization of distributed materials and training for resource teachers and other related people in the area of special education and inclusive education

To identify if any gaps exist between policy and implementation levels in special education

To identify the problems in conducting special education programmes

To find out the provision of government and non-government organizations in the area of special education

To examine experiences of the pilot programme on inclusive education

To provide suggestions for the improvement of inclusivity situation in education

There was not disabled student in schools as the pilot program although the inclusive education program implemented in the school to bring all students inside the classroom. It found the physical infrastructure was not good for the promotion of the inclusive education. Thus, the study questioned the classroom situation. Neither the enrollment of disadvantages children, ethnic children, Janjati children etc nor the retention rate was increasing.

Similarly, the study showed that neither the Assessment Centre was active in the collection, selection and distribution of materials and students nor managing the program in schools. Likewise, school supervisors did not supervise the classroom teaching, school environments even though monitoring was very important. There was not proper coordination between school supervisors, District Education Office, Head teachers, School Management Committee (SMC) members, INGO, local NGO, local club, VDC and Parent Teacher Association (PTA) members. So, many students were out of the classroom which directly affected the Inclusive Education program.

The study recommended that mild and moderate disabled students could be integrated into the general classroom after they had been in the residential for two years. It further showed that there should be training for teachers. i.e. the content of inclusive education should be included in the ten months in-service teacher training package. Likewise, awareness program should be given for parents, SMC, PTA, local Club, NGO and VDC members.

CERID (2006), carried out a formative research on Situation of Inclusive Education in Nepal with a view to explore the system and mechanism that has been used in identifying the differing needs of children in the classroom, to assess teachers' awareness of and sensitivity towards special needs children, to evaluate teachers' capacity in meeting the learning needs of special needs children and to find out the effectiveness of the Welcome to School program (in relation to inclusive classroom) in retaining children in school. The study was carried out in 21 of 210 inclusive schools of Dadeldhura, Banke, Chitwan, Kavre and Jhapa districts, which represented 22 inclusive - education program- districts.

The researcher found out that neither the assessment center (AC) has been effective in identifying special needs children nor the District Education Officer has been able to pay attention to AC. Thus, there is no co-ordination between AC, the resource class and the inclusive education school. It reports that Inclusive Education teachers are not clear about the concept of IE even after having a six day long training and they failed to treat the special needs children for lack of practical knowledge and capability to meet these children's learning needs. The study concludes that the Welcome to School program has helped to increase the number of children in Jhapa, Banke, Kavre and Dadeldhura but in Chitwan it has not been so effective and the problem of retaining them is becoming crucial. Muslim children in schools have not benefited from the government's scholarship policy.

Jha (2004) wrote an article entitled "Barrier to Access and Success: Is Inclusive Education an Answer?" In this article, he analyzed barrier to access and success physical and structural sense. But more than that, it is the curriculum, the pedagogy, the examination and the school's approach, which create barriers. Unless these unseen barriers are taken care of, access to all children and an assurance of success to all would remain a far cry. The inclusive education movement, combined with technological development and a new approach to open schooling has come at this crucial juncture. Countries and school systems choosing a holistic approach to access and success are more likely to succeed in reaching education for all.

Joseph Kisanji's keynote address to the workshop on "Inclusive Education in Namibia: The Challenge for Teacher Education", organized (24-25 March 1999) by Rossing Foundation of Namibia refers to historical and theoretical basis of inclusive education. It is one elaborate discourse on developing the system of IE by integrating the educational programs in consonance with the concept of special needs education in the class (which includes the disabled). Children with disabilities are the largest group of children who are out of school. Education for all means ensuring that all children have access to basic education of good quality. This implies creating an environment in schools and in basic education programs in which children, both abled and disabled are enabled to learn. This environment must be inclusive, effective and child-friendly as well as healthy, protective and gender-sensitive. The development of such a learning environment is an essential part of the efforts made by countries around the world to increase access and improve the quality of their schools.

UNICEF (2003) conducted a study on Example of Inclusive Education, Nepal which was focused to find out:

to assess the state of special needs and inclusive education in Nepal in terms of policies, resources and practices, and emphasize the main implications of the lessons learnt with respect to policy reform.

to identify and document model practices in the area of inclusive education, and to highlight the mechanisms and strategies that have proved effective, the areas of concern and the constraints in successfully mainstreaming children with disabilities.

to provide recommendations based on the lessons learnt in order to strengthen the capacity of the government and other partners in the country to bring about policy reforms, ensure adequate resource allocation, and promote programming that supports inclusive education.

It said that the teaching practices for inclusive education are still at a formative stage; this makes identifying good practice models of teacher development somewhat difficult. Even though it had the following findings:

There is a lack of awareness among the general public regarding the causes, early detection, and prevention of disabilities.

Children with disabilities are often marginalized within the general education system and within society in general. The education of children is considered a matter of general charity and welfare rather than a right that every child should demand.

There are two main types of provision (special education and integrated education) for the education of children with disabilities. The government, with assistance from DANIDA under BPEP II, recently initiated a pilot programme on inclusive education.

There is a debate over the issue of special, integrated and inclusive education in the country. Some professionals advocate special schooling, whereas others favour integrated education in mainstream schools. Some argue that the implementation of inclusive education is unrealistic in the absence of awareness and infrastructure, and a lack of professional training.

In Nepal, the division between special and general education policy clouds the development of an inclusion policy. The government's education policy categorizes three types of education, namely, education for children in general, education for children with disabilities (mainly in the form of special education and integrated education), and education for other vulnerable children, such as ethnic groups, out-of-school children, women, poor and low-caste children.

There are few examples of good practice models for inclusive education. They are relatively new, and need to be strengthened to make programmes more child- and disability-friendly.

Methodology

The knowledge of the same thing may differ time to time, place to place and person to person. Thus, ontologically, my study and findings are subjective which views world as being a much softer, personal, and henceforth.

In my study I can get various perceptions and practices on inclusive education technique used by primary level teachers. I believe those differences are the outcomes of the understanding of the way in which the individual created, modified and interpreted the world in which he/she found him/herself. So, this study employs postmodernism philosophical consideration.

In the present research, I will apply descriptive as well as interpretive with some techniques such as Hermeneutics and Phenomenological approach in the data generation, analysis and interpretation.

The theoretical basis of the study will depend upon the literatures from the library study; secondary sources whereas the practical basis will stand with the carefully carry out field survey and close analysis of data gathered from primary sources.

My understanding of Hermeneutics:

The term hermeneutics simply means the art and science of interpretation (Bentz and Shapiro, 1998). They further state that the term derives from the Greek god Hermes, messenger of the gods, who was killed for bringing unwelcome news to the community (Bentz and Shapiro, 1998, p.105). In my understanding hermeneutics is the interpretation of a text in its socio-cultural context. Here text may represent teachers' mode of learning through sense organs and the soulful construction of meaning in the context. So, in my opinion hermeneutics is the soulful communication of ideas among teachers and students.

My Understanding of Phenomenology:

Phenomenology will use to obtain knowledge about how we think and feel in the most direct ways. Its focus is what goes on within the person in an attempt to get to and describe lived experience in a language as free from the constructs of the intellect and society as possible. At its root, to me, the intents are to understand phenomena in their own terms to provide a description of human experience as it is experienced by the person him/herself.

My Inquiry Design

Sources of Data

To carry out this research I used two types of source of data widely: primary and secondary sources.

Primary Sources of Data

Primary source refers to population. Here, the data is directly collected from the sample population. That is why it is known as first hand data or original data which has not collected earlier.

The data gathered from the field at first hand will be observation and in-depth interview followed by Reflective Journal. I will go to the three randomly selected schools, which follow the Inclusive Education of Kavre district, Nepal and will observe the classes and collect information, maintaining diary and producing reflective journals of each observation.

Observation

Observation is a process of careful watching or listening of some phenomena, characteristics, interaction which occur in some real life situation. Similar view is expressed by Kumar Ranjit. He defines observation is a purposeful systematic and selective way of watching and listening to an interaction as it takes place. Marshall has the similar view

Observation entails the systematic noting and recording of events, behaviors, and artifacts (objects) in the social setting chosen for study. The observational record is frequently referred to as field notes-detailed, nonjudgmental, concrete descriptions of what has been observed retrieve from http://www.method of data collection 04-Marshall-4864.qxd 2/1/2006.

Thus, observation provides in-depth information and understanding of the observed activity, situation and interaction.

Types of Observation

Observation is categorized from three angles such as controlled and uncontrolled, Participant and non-participant, and structured and unstructured.

Participant and non-participant

In participant observation, a researcher becomes one member of the observed group so that he/she could study the behavior pattern of the group. Similarly, Ranjit Kumar (1999, p. 106) … a researcher participates in the activities the group being observed in the same manner as its member …Moreover, participant observation means the researcher participates as the member of group. For instance, if the researcher wants to find out what is the language learning pattern of Tamang1 community, he/she will go and sit with the Tamang community children and observe their language learning patterns. On the other hand, in non-participant observation, the researcher is detached from the group, he/she sits outside the group, and he observers, collects the information and records. Ranjit Kumar (1999) says the researcher does not get involved in the activities in the non-participant observation. In other words, the researchers observe from the outside, record the activities, watch and draw the conclusions.

Structured and Unstructured

If the researcher follows the characteristics of systematicness, the observation is known as structured observation. He/she decides content, time and place, recording devices and how much amount of information is required. If the researcher does not decide on all of these factors then it becomes unstructured observation.

Interview

Dr. Rita S. Y. Berry , Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association Annual Conference, University of Sussex at Brighton, September 2 - 5 1999, defines that since 1980s, interview was used the tools for data collection in the educational and social science research. Interview is an oral activity which is conducted to collect required information. Ranjit Kumar (1999) says that any person-to-person interaction between two or more individuals with a specific purpose in mind is called interview.

There are many kinds of interviews. Hitchcock (1989:79) lists nine types: structured interview, survey interview, counselling interview, diary interview, life history interview, ethnographic interview, informal/unstructured interview, and conversations. Cohen & Manion (1994:273), however, prefers to group interviews into four kinds, including the structured interview, the unstructured interview, the non-directive interview, and the focused interview retrieved from http://www.Collecting data by in-depth interviewing/Dr.Rita S.Y.Berry1999. Similarly, Ranjit Kumar (1999) describes two types of interview namely unstructured and structured.

What is reflective journal?

Secondary Sources of Data

I will use secondary sources such as books, journals, related research works, websites, Un reports, UNESCO reports, Ministry of Education, Nepal reports, and other countries inclusive education reports.

Tools for Data Collection:

The major research tools for collecting the data from the selected schools will be the classroom observations and In-depth Interview.

Class Observation and Reflective Journal

Classroom teaching will be observed and reflective journals for each observation will be maintained details of the classroom process. Altogether twelve teachers' classes will be observed.

In-depth Interview Schedule

There will be questions to the teachers for in-depth-interview. The selected teachers will be asked the interview questions. I will interview teachers to understand their perception and practices of Inclusive Education Strategies. I will record their interview in the video recording device.

Data analysis and Interpretation

I will analyze the collected data and interpret using interpretive approach as well as hermeneutics and phenomenological consideration. I will apply hermeneutics for the interpretation of the text in context and phenomenology for the interpretation of one's own consciousness and experience conclud from some situation drawn from the teachers and students teaching and learning in primary level (1-5).

Ethical Issues

In my domain, research has become an issue of ethics (Flick, 2006, P.45) in my research too, I will be fully conscious regarding ethical issues so as to protect the respondents in the research process. Codes of ethics will be formulated to regulate the relations of researchers to the people and fields they intend to study. As Murphy and Dingwall speak of "ethical theory" I also follow the four issues:

Non-malfeasance: I will avoid harming the participants of my studies.

Beneficence: My research will produce positive and identifiable benefit to the people and society rather than carrying out it for its own sake.

Autonomy and self-determination: I will respect the values and decisions of the participants.

Justice: I will treat all the people equally without being biased as far as possible.

Expectations of the study

What I will expect from this study is that teachers' especially primary level teachers will immensely be benefited to use inclusive education strategies in the classroom. Nevertheless, other teachers and students will also get benefit from my study. The present research study will have the following findings:

Explore the teachers perception and practices of inclusive education strategies

Explore the situation of inclusive classroom

Identify the barriers of getting inclusive classroom

Find out the effect of inclusive classroom to minimize the discrimination between normal and disable students

Find out the existing situations inside the school and outside the school

Explore the attitude towards inclusive education

To provide some suggestions for the planners, the text book writers, the syllabus designers and teachers

Proposed Timeline

Time

Major Task/s

Feb 2013

Defend proposal

March - December 2013

Begin writing background and literature chapters.

Contact schools to identify case schools and possible participants.

Finalise correspondence.

Jan 2014-Sept.2014

Begin data collection and analysis.

Oct. 2014- Feb. 2014

Write analysis and discussion chapters.

March- August 2015

Begin first draft of thesis.

September 2015

Revise first draft and submit second draft.

October 2015

Final revisions.

December 2015

Submit thesis.